Even though Andrew Cuomo is expected to handily win the gubernatorial race this fall, he's filled a hefty campaign war chest just in case. Of the many millions he's raised, $7.1 million has come from special-interest groups. According to the Times, "of the estimated $7.1 million that the Cuomo campaign has received from political action committees, associations, limited liability corporations and other entities, more than half has come from the biggest players in Albany: organized labor, the real estate and related industries like construction, the health care sector and lobbying firms." That's a lot of cash for somebody who pronounced, just last month: “The influence of lobbyists and their special interests must be drastically reduced with new contribution limits." And it's especially a lot of cash for someone who, in 2007, pledged not to accept donations over $10,000 from such groups during an election cycle (he didn't stick to the pledge — not by a long shot).
Here's where most of the money came from, according to the Times:
In the current election cycle, lobbying firms and companies that have registered to lobby on their own behalf have given Mr. Cuomo about $555,000 in donations. Organized labor, long regarded by Democrats and Republicans as perhaps the most powerful force in Albany lawmaking, has given him more than $1.4 million. Real estate and construction interests have donated more than $1.3 million, and the health care industry has contributed about $570,000.
Cuomo's spokesperson is all over the Times article, pointing out that as attorney general, Cuomo often went after the very groups that gave him money. But in a time when Albany has a serious image problem, appearance is everything. (Follow-through on promises matters, too.) For that alone, this Times report has got to sting.